Seoul – North Korea is intent on re-opening and re-operating Kaesong’s inter-industrial complex, which has been shut down since 2016.
In February 2016, the South closed the complex in response to North’s missile launches and the fourth nuclear test. The propaganda site Uriminzokkiri said that the industrial zone is located within the territory under the sovereignty of North Korea and other nations [without naming South Korea] should not interfere with the issue.
Uriminzokkiri adds that the manufacturing industries present there will be used even more actively. This means that Pyongyang will begin using kaesong production facilities, which are owned by South Korean companies.
Already in recent days rumours circulated that North Korea was using clothes packing facilities in Kaesong.
Opened in 2004, the Kaesong industrial area hosted 124 South Korean companies, with 54,000 Northern workers in clothing and utensils production. South Korean investments and salaries paid to North Korean workers made up a substantial foreign currency reserve package for Pyongyang: over US $ 500 million a year.
Last year, North Korea said it would freeze all South Korean property in the industrial area. The Seoul Unification Ministry said Pyongyang should guard against taking over other people’s property flouting the ownership rights of South Korean companies.
According to analysts, the increasingly warlike attitudes of the North show a desperate attempt by Pyongyang to remain an important interlocutor on the peninsula, having lost China’s support and underwritten the isolation of the international community. (AsiaNews)